Bay Ridge congressman whacked by both sides over ‘hateful’ mailer • Brooklyn Paper

Bay Ridge congressman whacked by both sides over ‘hateful’ mailer

Rep. Dan Donovan represents drivers on both sides of the Brooklyn-Staten Island span.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

They’re going postal!

Critics across the aisle are blasting the Bay Ridge congressman for hitting peoples’ doorsteps with what they charge is offensive anti-immigration propaganda just to win some votes in a contentious Republican primary election that has President Trump and his controversial policies at its center.

Republican Rep. Dan Donovan sent out hundreds of mailers this week to voters across his Ridge-to-Rock district week that read: “Build the Wall. Enforce the Law — Only Unwavering Law and Order will Defeat Illegal Immigration.”

The mailer displays a police shield stamped with a graphic of a family with a young child holding hands, seemingly running across a United States border, and a red “X” striking through it.

The graphic is a replica, sans the red X, of the government’s cautionary traffic signs near border-crossings — the last of which recently came down in California — according to Donovan’s campaign spokeswoman, who said officials were forced to erect the signs to warn motorists of people crossing the border.

“The graphic is an exact replica of the government’s warning border-crossing signs,” said Jessica Proud. “Years of illegal border crossings became so prolific they needed road signs urging caution.”

Proud wouldn’t comment on how many mailers were sent out, how much they cost, or if all homes in the district got one, but confirmed they were paid for with funds from the congressman’s campaign war chest.

Some constituents on social media allegedly heard through a rep in Donovan’s office that the mailers that were sent out were somehow the result of a printing error, but distributed anyway. When reached for comment, however, neither his district office or campaign would comment.

And regardless of any design error, the mailers are out there — boasting Donovan’s own blonde, smiling family on the front, with crossed-out migrant family on the back — a juxtaposition one Bay Ridge voter called a clear and reprehensible message that the congressman cares only about helping families like his own.

“Most of the women and children come here feeling violence. To him, keeping our families safe means throwing other families under the bus,” said Mallory McMahon of the group Fight Back Bay Ridge. “It’s clear inhumanity that his image was ever even considered.”

Donovan’s primary challenger — a convicted felon who is running to take back his old seat — even condemned the incumbent and his campaign snail mail for fearmongering, saying it falsely portrays Donovan’s record on border security.

“To compensate for his record supporting amnesty and Sanctuary Cities, Dan Donovan has now decided to make a mockery of President Trump’s common-sense policies. When Republicans advocate for building the Wall or cracking down on illegal immigration, we’re not doing it out of racism or hatred — we do it out of a concern for our national security and a desire to have secure, sovereign borders,” he said. “Donovan’s desperate, hypocritical messaging makes him look ridiculous, while playing into the left’s worst stereotypes of the America First agenda President Trump and I believe in.”

And competitors on the left also blasted the sitting congressman.

“We need new leaders who campaign on hope and ideas, not fear and hate,” Army veteran Max Rose, a Democrat running to unseat Donovan, wrote on Twitter. “[Donovan] thinks this kind of hateful imagery will win him an election in #NY11. He couldn’t be more wrong.”

Just last week, Trump boosted Donovan’s re-election bid when he threw his support behind him over his primary challenger — but a new NY1 poll puts the one-time representative ahead of the incumbent by 10 points.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Send it back: Local voters are fuming over this mailer Rep. Dan Donovan sent out.

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